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Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Loraine Sunshine’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Loraine Sunshine’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zone
Zones 1-11, 14-24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Heliopsis helianthoides

Ox-eye Sunflower

Perennials, Flowers

Native to the eastern half of North America, extending southwest to Arizona. The species is rarely offered, but several varieties are available. Most grow to 3–4 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide, topped by yellow blooms resembling 2–3-in.-wide sunflowers from late summer into fall. Plants may be staked or allowed to arch gracefully.

Outstanding 4-ft.-tall selections include ‘Bressingham Doubloon’, with semidouble golden yellow flowers, and ‘Prairie Sunset’, with golden yellow flowers sporting a dark red spot at the base of each petal. ‘Summer Sun’ (‘Sommersonne’), to 2 1/2 ft. high and 1 1/2 ft. wide, has bright yellow flowers that may be single or semidouble. ‘Loraine Sunshine’ is about the same size, but its leaves are white with green veins, and its single yellow flowers begin blooming in midsummer.

‘Tuscan Sun’ is compact, just 1 1/2–2 ft. tall and wide. All kinds are good in cutting gardens and in borders.

Plant in a sunny location with well-drained soil. Tolerate some light shade, but can get leggy in too much shade. To prolong bloom, pick off spent flowers.

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